Big Bear Cubs four to five-year olds
The Big Bear Cub program is planned to meet the special needs of four and five-year-olds who will be going to kindergarten the following year. Our goal is to create a partnership characterized by open communication and mutual respect with parents that will ensure that each child receives the very best care while at the center. Parents are welcome to visit at any time. (Unfortunately during COVID we are not allowing anyone on campus besides the teachers and children).
The Big Bear Cub classroom serves pre-kindergarteners through a carefully planned program designed to keep the children busy and learning through a variety of hands-on experiences each day. In this room, there is a set schedule for the day with times for circle, centers, individual and group work, stories, snacks, play and rest time with an emphasis on learning through play. Written records are kept on each child’s day at our center describing the learning activities, as well as anecdotal notes about daily happenings and developmental landmarks. We email these reports to parents daily along with a selection of photos and videos.
Big Bear Cub teachers plan and coordinate curriculum around the routines, events and themes that have meaning in the lives of five-year-olds – holidays, what parents do at work, transportation (Buses, trains, planes), birth of a sibling, a trip to the dentist, etc. Curriculum themes are designed to include opportunities for children to develop appropriate cognitive, physical, and social/emotional skills through small and large group activities, self-selected and self-directed independent activities, teacher-initiated activities, time indoors and outdoors, quiet times and active times. Activities are planned weekly and are summarized on monthly calendars sent home with each child. Included on the calendar are special events, songs, finger plays and a sampling of developmental activities used during the month.
The variety of activities and materials used in the Big Bear Cubs Classroom allows children to explore their environment at their individual developmental levels. To encourage the development of the whole child, Honey Bear Teachers select developmentally or age appropriate activities from seven main areas of concentration. The activities include thinking, muscle coordination, imagination and problem-solving skills which form the building blocks laid in preparation for formal education and higher reasoning used later in life.
Our program encourages learning in a wide variety of modalities including:
Pre-School Learning Skills – Story time, large group circles, puppets, lotto games, pre-writing skill
development (paper tearing, paper snips, simple scissor cutting, coloring every day), talk-about pictures,
dramatic play, individual share days, calendar activities, ABC games, name recognition, fine motor activities,
color hunts, naming shapes, body parts, months and days of the week, animals and sounds; learning
directional concepts (up/down, over/under, etc); singing alphabet songs and rhymes, matching games (color,
shape and pictures) and block building. We have a listening center designed for children to independently
“read” books while simultaneously listening to the story on headphones.
Large Motor – Jumping, swinging, climbing, digging, riding, dancing, moving and exercising. Simple obstacle
courses, and outdoor games.
Sensory Experiences – Finger and easel painting, playdoh to pound and shape; sand and water play; messy
tray activities like colored shaving cream, goop and sudsy water; birdseed, cornmeal and rice to scoop, sift
and pour; textures to touch and feel; sounds to hear; smells to smell; flavors to taste and hands-on cooking
of snacks. A variety of objects are added to the sensory tubs to encourage language and creative dramatics.
Pre-Math and Science – Pre-math skills, counting and sorting objects by size, color and shape; numbers and
sets; sequencing games; simple graphs and groupings; qualitative concepts (next to, underneath); cause and
effect; exploring volume and rote counting. Hands-on science experiences where the children explore their
environment with all their senses. Using magnets, planting, viewing nature through a magnifying glass,
collecting insects in bug catchers, using a weather chart and a science station full of things from our world to
touch and explore (rocks, pine cones, leaves, etc).
Music, Movement and Dramatic Play – Little Bear Cubs teachers use a variety of musical and dramatic play
items to enhance their large motor and language arts curriculum throughout each day.
Spanish – Students are taught simple words throughout the day (colors, counting, body parts, hello/goodbye)
Self-care – Brushing teeth, washing hands and faces, dressing, taking on/off and hanging up a jacket, serving
lunch, making a snack, pouring juice, putting toys away, cleaning up own messes (helping to sweep and
wipe tables), following multi-step directions, and continuing to develop conflict resolution skills.